Seattle’s Sound Transit Eliminates Congestion with Silver Peak WAN Acceleration Appliances

Transportation Organization Sets the Standard for Construction Efficiency by Improving Information Exchange between Engineering and Design Teams

Mountain View, CA, November 7, 2006 –Silver Peak Systems ( ), a leading provider of scalable Wide Area Network (WAN) acceleration solutions, today announced that Sound Transit, the regional transit agency for Central Puget Sound in Washington State, has deployed Silver Peak’s NX Series appliances to improve collaboration between distributed employees, contractors, and consultants.  With Silver Peak, Sound Transit has improved the efficiency of its construction process by eliminating up to 95% of WAN traffic and improving the performance of key applications over their WAN, including document management, project management, and Voice over IP (VoIP) traffic. 

Sound Transit was created by Central Puget Sound voters in 1996 to plan, build and operate a mass transit system to fight traffic congestion and its impact on the region’s economy, environment and quality of life. Today, the agency runs 19 express bus routes, 74 miles of commuter train service and light rail in Tacoma. In addition, Sound Transit is building a 15-mile light rail line from downtown Seattle to Sea-Tac International Airport, as well as park-and-ride lots, transit centers and HOV access lanes throughout the region.

“By overcoming congestion over our Wide Area Network, Sound Transit can more efficiently tackle street congestion,” said Kevin Crawford, IT Division Manager of Sound transit.  “Through better engineering collaboration, we can scale our construction efforts more cost effectively, bringing the benefits of mass transit to more people in the Seattle area.”

Sound Transit has hundreds of workers spread across the region, each sharing very large files across the WAN, including high-resolution construction site photos and CAD drawings. Recently, the organization also moved entirely to VoIP for telephony services as a way of building a flexible communication infrastructure that is cost effective to deploy and manage.  To help secure the information and ensure the accuracy of workflow documents and other large files, Sound Transit decided to centralize all servers and storage within its main facility in Seattle.  This saturated their WAN, which resulted in very poor application performance and degraded voice calls.

The Road to Acceleration
Sound Transit explored compression products from a leading WAN optimization vendor as a way of combating their application performance problems.  The initial results were disappointing, as the product did not dramatically improve WAN bandwidth capacity and had limited effect on application response times.  Experiments with another WAN acceleration solution also left Sound Transit cold, primarily due to an inability to improve the quality of voice and other real-time applications being used across the WAN. 

“We wanted to do more for our voice traffic than simply make more room for it,” said Garv Nayyar, Senior Integration Engineer for Sound Transit. “At the very minimum, we needed a solution that could prioritize this traffic and allocate bandwidth appropriately across all applications.”

To overcome their challenges, Sound Transit turned to Silver Peak’s NX Series appliances.  Silver Peak’s Network Memory™ technology eliminates 95% of the WAN traffic being sent across Sound Transit’s WAN.  Silver Peak also employs various techniques to reduce the impact of latency and data packet loss, and provides advanced Quality of Service (QoS) techniques to prioritize traffic and allocate bandwidth.  This has led to a 20x improvement (on average) in application performance across the Sound Transit WAN.  For example, 6 MB files that used to take over 1 minute to download can now be accessed in 5 seconds.  The quality of Voice over IP  traffic running over Sound Transit’s WAN is now noticeably better with Silver Peak.

“The ‘intangibles’ really put Silver Peak ahead of the game,” said Garv Nayyar, Senior Integration Engineer for Sound Transit.  “They understood our need to improve voice quality while also accelerating data traffic across our WAN, and worked with us to develop the right solution that could scale with our growing collaboration needs.”

About Sound Transit
Sound Transit plans, builds and operates regional transit systems and services to improve mobility for Central Puget Sound in Washington State.  

About Silver Peak Systems, Inc .
Silver Peak facilitates the centralization of servers and storage by improving application performance across a Wide Area Network (WAN). With the company’s award winning NX family of WAN acceleration appliances, enterprises can improve disaster recovery in data centers and reduce “server sprawl” in branch and remote offices. Silver Peak delivers exceptional, transparent performance improvements for all enterprise applications, including data replication, backup, file transfers, email, web, and real-time applications such as Citrix and VoIP. For more information, visit

NOTE: Silver Peak Systems, the Silver Peak logo, Network Memory and Silver Peak NX Series are trademarks of Silver Peak Systems, Inc.